Grilled Grandma: Anna

What is a Grilled Grandma? A Grilled Grandma is a grandma whom I've grilled with some grandma-related questions, and she's graciously responded with answers and photos. Here is Grilled Grandma Anna:

How many children do you have? Two daughters

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? Two grandbabies, so far. My granddaughter Sydney will be 5 in February and my grandson Russell is turning 3 in December.

Any great grandchildren? Nope.

What do your grandchildren call you? They call me 'Nanny'

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? Currently they live in Arizona and we live in Colorado, but now that I am retired I find a way to see them every few weeks. I also talk to them on the telephone often. They were both born here in Colorado and came to work with me in my store so I saw them every day. About 14 months ago their parents decided to move to Arizona...that about killed me because I was use to seeing them every day. I was first worried about them forgetting me, but I have since learned that they won’t forget me. I stay in touch with them, and see them as often as we can. Now I feel confident that they will never forget their Nanny & Papa.

Beyond the initial elation, what most concerned you upon hearing you'd soon be a grandma? Nothing concerned me negatively. I was immediately elated and have not come down from that high yet. When we learned that were were getting a second grandbaby that elation just doubled. I have a special bond with each of them. I feel like I was meant to be a grandma my whole life...and now I finally am.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Oh my...I don't know if I could name just one thing. I would have to say one of the best things is being able to be in the roll of a grandma and not a mama (with all the mama worries) I get the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a child. They always amaze me with their view of simple and untarnished. It helps to remind me not to take the world so serious.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? I am careful to respect their mama's rules, but at the same time, my daughter and I both know that grandma's get to bend the rules a bit ;-) when they are with Nanny. My daughter is totally okay with that too.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. They make me laugh so often, but the most recent was when I took my grandson to the bathroom while visiting my sister in California. He was nervous about using a strange bathroom by his self (he is newly potty training) so he asked me to go with him. Once we got in the bathroom he wanted me to use the potty first. Since I did need to go pee I agreed. As I was sitting on the toilet he said, "Nanny, you got a big butt." I said, "Well, thank you, you have got a little butt." He replied, "Well, thank you!" So here I thought he was insulting my big butt, but I guess he meant it as a compliment because he took my reply as a compliment.  We both laughed out loud together over that.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? They love to play with Playdoh so we break out the Playdoh kit and create things with it for hours.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? They enjoy showing me all of their books and toys. Then we go to the park and play until we are dog-tired. It is also a must to get an ice cream cone at the local DQ.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? We talk on the telephone. At almost 3 and almost 5 it is sometimes hard to understand what they are saying over the phone (not seeing their mouths move), but I get most of it. They call me when they have something exciting to share, or if they are not feeling well. I call them when I need to hear their voices. We talk about how many more 'sleeps' (nights) until Nanny & Papa will be visiting them again.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? That they each are very special people. That they have special talents and qualities about them, and I try to encourage their own unique specialness.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Love

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? I don't know...I am still learning :-)

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Don't give advice to your adult children unless the specifically ask for it. Respect that they may have different ideas on how they want to raise their children, and that doesn't make it wrong...just different. Grandmas have a special relationship with their grandbabies, just enjoy that.

Do you have a website or blog? What is it about? Yes, my blog is about my life in 'mid-life' and all the changes that come with this new season such as going through menopause, being a grandma, my recent retirement, discovering my true self, and loving my time with my soul mate. The URL is

Dear Readers: If you'd like to nominate a grandma for grilling—yourself or any other grandma—please e-mail me her first name and e-mail address and I'll take care of the rest. Thank you!